From wedding bells to bills: Indore-based Fullonshaadi aims to fix it all!Mukti Masih
It’s marvelous that the 38 billion USD Indian wedding industry manages to churn out startups filling gaps with interesting ideas. Especially, when there’s a clear dearth of organised wedding aggregators. Fullonshaadi.com – that presently lists 950 wedding vendors – is one such wedding curator that allows customers to plan their own wedding minus the proverbial ‘wedding day blues.’
While wedding continues to be what people in India refer to as an ‘inflation-free,’ ‘evergreen’ business, Indore-based Fullonshaadi refuses to take the road most travelled, that is wedding planning. “We cannot emphasise enough that weddings should be as personalised as possible. At the same time families of both the sides should truly enjoy every moment without getting caught up in the hassles of organising. Fullonshaadi enables users to handpick their wedding vendors, thereby striking the balance between personalisation and outsourcing,” informs Fullonshaadi Co-Founder Khushbu Jagwani Jhalawad. She along with her husband Shalabh Jhalawad had witnessed closely in a friend’s wedding how family members couldn’t have fun due to organisation hassles.
“I remember particularly an incident that left me dumbstruck. The bride had the makeup appointment at a noted salon. But more than five other brides were also sitting in line in the same room while one makeup person kept going from one bride to another,” shares Khushbu. The couple came back with a determination to work in this direction and launched Fullonshaadi in August 2015. Khushbu is an IIFT Delhi Alumnus with an MBA finance degree and five years of experience in product strategic planning. Shalabh is a BE (Mechanical Engineering) with seven years of experience in business development and marketing.
Fullonshaadi is an end-to-end solution that aims at transforming wedding industry by introducing technology in its complete value chain. It is currently focused on vendor discovery and lists all kinds of wedding service providers such as marriage venues, bridal dresses, salons, jewellery, photographers, wedding planners, flower and tent decorators, drones, wedding cards, dhol and mehendi, pundits and astrologers. “There are wedding planners of course that can take away all the stress of organising but that strips people off the personalisation aspect. With Fullonshaadi, people can choose which parts they wish to outsource, customise and select based on personal preferences,” adds Shalabh. Fullonshaadi has some interesting features such as budget planner, to-do list, guest list, etc.
“What brings accountability into the entire system is the review feature for vendors. Nobody can delete or edit reviews. This compels everyone to give their best shot,” says Khushbu. The team has a screening process followed by cross-checking of the information before approving the vendors onto the portal. “We are mainly curators so we get the opportunity to explore new talent. For instance, there are many young photographers who are not well-known but can do a better job than many traditional wedding photographers. This gives us an edge of offering totally new concepts to the customers,” adds Shalabh.
Fullonshaadi has a strong technical expertise in the form of their third Co-Founder Himanshu Jagwani – an IIT Kharagpur alumnus, a student of Columbia University and Khushbu’s brother.
"In a fast-paced world, who has time to visit every vendor to see their catalogues or find prices? These traditional methods of communication will soon be as obsolete as dial-up. Our team is focussed on building algorithms that can pick up user prints and synthesise them to present intelligently customised choices to them," says Himanshu. A technology enthusiast, he has one year experience in process optimisation at Flipkart. Himanshu handles Technology Development at Fullonshaadi.
Rivals and future plans
When the three founders got together to startup Fullonshaadi, they knew the competition that awaited their business. There’s Shaadisaga, 7vachan, Wedmegood in addition to specific wedding needs startups. “However, the fact that none of them offers an end-to-end solution for the wedding industry steered us. We enable users to know all the available options and filter them to choose the ones fitting their criteria instead of simply steering users to choose from our ‘own’ contacts,” shares Shalabh.
Fullonshaadi has plans of listing 15,000 vendors in the coming year while scaling up to eight more cities. Their profit model has a system of getting revenue through advertising.
“We believe that we are a team with a perfect mix of Hipster, Hacker, and Hustler. We have complementary personalities and skill sets with a common vision,” adds Himanshu. Within two months of its launch, Fullonshaadi has willing takers – something that goes on to show the gaps in the Indian wedding industry that were waiting to be filled.